The Role of Youth in Volunteering and Choosing Volunteers to Recognize | Track It Forward

The Role of Youth in Volunteering and Choosing Volunteers to Recognize

Written by Jordan Galerkin

Icons to represent youth volunteering and volunteer recognition

Recap for December 7th - December 13th

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Facebook community this past week! 

Ways to Involve Youth in Youth-Serving Volunteer Activities

It’s great to find ways to get youth involved in volunteering and community service, and this can be even more impactful when kids and teens can find ways to help others their age in underserved communities. Our community of organizers offers some insight into ways youth can volunteer to serve others.

Facebook Post: What are tangible, actionable, in-person ways youth in affluent communities can lift the lives of POC, especially within inner cities? Can you recommend activities (other than donation drives) and/or can you name a nonprofit that engages youth in this way? 
#youthvolunteer #youthleadership #volunteering #youthengagement #nonprofit


Comments from the group

  • "First, do no harm. Youth in affluent communities should start with a thorough understanding of why they have access to the resources that they have, and why others do not...They could start with things [like] fundraising for programs in chronically underfunded schools or “adopt a classroom”. They could volunteer at summer camps or after school programs for kids who live in underfunded communities…"

  • "My nonprofit Edify Endeavor works with youth of color in south side Chicago. We are always looking for virtual tutors (for all subjects and ages)."

  • "This video might be good to check out: ‘Leadership Role of Youth In Advocacy’:"

Check out all of the comments here!

Choosing Volunteers for Recognition

Volunteers are the heart and soul of nonprofit and grassroots community organizations. Of course, you want to recognize them! But when there are limited accolades to provide, how do you choose who to award? It can be good to have a set of criteria beforehand so you can see which volunteers may be eligible for a certain award. Learn more about the processes other volunteer coordinators use below!

Facebook Post: Hi everyone. How do you pick only 1 volunteer for community recognition? I am very biased and think they all deserve it but, this particular event only allows me to choose 1. How do you navigate the conversation and the optics of picking one person when you have equally amazing people on your team?

Comments from the group

  • "Writing out a criteria list helps...some of the questions on our nomination form are, 1. The number of hours volunteered, 2. Impact across the organization, 3. Are they ambassadors? The one thing we never consider is if they are donors and we try not to award the same person every year."
  • "I have this issue a lot since I have volunteers who serve at all different locations at partner agencies. I recognize the volunteer who has served the most hours every year."

  • "I sent an email to all staff and asked them to nominate a volunteer and to give me at least one reason why they should be chosen. I then looked at volunteer hours, length of volunteering, who is willing to help whenever asked, etc. and I made the final decision."

Add your own thoughts here!